We’ve gone past the similes and into a
Brave Crazy New World where the president of the United States actually speculates out loud that injecting disinfectants into the human body could cure COVID-19.
[S]upposing we hit the body with a tremendous — whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light — and I think you said that that hasn’t been checked, but you’re going to test it. And then I said, supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you can do either through the skin or in some other way, and I think you said you’re going to test that too. It sounds interesting…
And then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning. Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it would be interesting to check that. So, that, you’re going to have to use medical doctors with. But it sounds — it sounds interesting to me.
At Reason magazine, a publication that tends to stay far from partisan rancor (disclosure: I’ve written for it a few times), Senior Editor Jacob Sullum analyzes Trump’s words thusly:
Did the president recommend that Americans inject themselves with bleach as a COVID-19 cure or prophylactic? Strictly speaking, no… [H]e said “you’re going to have to use medical doctors” for that sort of thing.
But he did idly speculate that, since disinfectants kill the COVID-19 virus on surfaces, it was worth investigating whether they might work as a treatment, and he specifically mentioned “injection,” which was not only scientifically naive but reckless given the prevalence of quack remedies and wacky ideas about how to ward off the disease.
Now, where did Trump’s ludicrous, hazardous suggestion come from?
The Guardian points out that
… peddlers of chlorine dioxide – industrial bleach – have been making direct approaches to the White House in recent days,
… raising the possibility that some of the most disreputable people in all of Christendom don’t just have the president’s ear — they can get their insanity amplified by a president who has relinquished any last semblance of mental balance.
Quoth the Guardian:
In his weekly televised radio show, posted online on Sunday, [“archbishop” Mark] Grenon read out the letter he wrote to Trump. He said it began: “Dear Mr President, I am praying you read this letter and intervene.”
Grenon said that 30 of his supporters have also written in the past few days to Trump at the White House urging him to take action to protect Genesis II in its bleach-peddling activities which they claim can cure coronavirus.
On Friday, hours after Trump talked about disinfectant on live TV, Grenon went further in a post on his Facebook page. He claimed that MMS had actually been sent to the White House. He wrote: “Trump has got the MMS and all the info!!! Things are happening folks! Lord help others to see the Truth!”
If Trump got his unhinged idea from Grenon’s Genesis II Church of Health and Healing, he’s now one-upping those rapacious cretins. The church has been advising its members to drink bleach in order to cure severe illness, not inject it.
Either method is, of course, beyond anything a rational person would do, but if I had to pick, injection is just a bit crazier — and probably deadlier. In fact, injecting cleaning agents is literally what some serial killers do. (Best not click on any of those four links unless you like having nightmares.)
In fairness, I’ll confess that, unlike Trump, I’ve never impressed a team of researchers and physicians with my vast medical knowledge. Surely you recall that the president visited the Centers for Disease Control last month and intoned happily:
“I like this stuff. I really get it. People are surprised that I understand it. Every one of these doctors say, ‘How do you know so much about this?’ Maybe I have a natural ability. Maybe I should’ve done that instead of running for president.”
Either way, people would be at the mercy of a man who is indistinguishable from a patient with full-blown (and, I’m afraid, irreversible) psychopathy.
P.S.: Trump is now saying that he was just being “sarcastic.”
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Paul for the link)